Both were nominated by Dan "Wizard of Westside" Coffey, telling us much about the current whacked-out alignment wherein Coffey has found new political life by serving as a swing fifth vote in a quasi-progressive (by NA's exceedingly low standards) bloc generally composed of McLaughlin, Gonder, Greg Phipps (2nd) and Scott Blair (6th). That Coffey has been able to do so sans spontaneous combustion continues to fascinate the peanut gallery.
Forming an opposing vague and admittedly mutable grouping has been the deposed Diane Benedetti (5th), lone and lonely Republican Kevin Zurschmiede and somnolent Shirley Baird (both at large) and Bob "CeeSaw" Caesar.
Internal housekeeping occupied much of the meeting's short running time, although the council also unanimously approved an ordinance permitting the Floyd County Health Department to regulate swimming pools to ensure maximum "compliance," to use the word repeated most often by the department's attorney, Mr. Fox, who assured listeners that health department officials are not arbitrary, do not pursue power trips, and never once have been heavy handed in pursuit of said "compliance," even if not a single person present had once suggested otherwise.
I believe the department protesteth too strongly, a tendency usually more revealing than originally intended.
The evening's most entertaining segment was reserved for McLaughlin's board appointment time, during which it was revealed by Coffey that the council's newest power structure does not intend to be bound by the Horseshoe Foundation's insistence, as enunciated by foundation board president Mark Seabrook and foundation chief Jerry Finn, that the council's two yearly appointments to the foundation board must include a member from each of the "only" two American political parties.
Having already replaced Benedetti with Gonder for the first foundation board slot, McLaughlin agreed with Coffey's interpretation by appointing Blair, a declared Independent, to the second seat in place of Zurschmiede. During previous years, the latter had seemed bound to the foundation board for life by virtue of his minority GOP status (chortle), a condition undoubtedly exploited by his fellow Republican, Seabrook. Now we'll see whether the foundation kicks back.
Grace Schneider's Courier Journal coverage:
During a relatively brief meeting, McLaughlin also announced appointments of council members to various police, transportation and building committees. The only point of discussion centered on two appointments to the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County board of directors.
Earlier Monday, McLaughlin received a letter from foundation board President Mark Seabrook, a Republican county commissioner, stating that foundation bylaws say that two members from the City Council should come from each major political party unless the council is composed of one political party, according to the letter.
McLaughlin appointed Gonder, a Democrat, and, at the urging of some council members, Scott Blair, an independent who was elected in 2011.
McLaughlin said after the meeting that he doesn’t think it’s appropriate to exclude a third-party member, so he was willing to submit it and “see how it plays out” with the foundation.
“Mr. Blair is well known in the business community, so I think it’s a worthy appointment,” he said.